The world we live in is corrupt, filled with lies and deception; over and above all, it is filled with false doctrines. Our lives are so complicated that our minds automatically complicates even simple things in life. The Word of God many times and by many are understood in difficulty, yet we don’t realize it because of our complicated lives. The Word of God is simple; it is easy to understand, because the Spirit of God in those who believe teaches us how to understand it. Yes, simple things are twisted and understandings are being altered, instead of keeping it in the simple form of which the Bible teaches us things. With almost the same breath, we can say that we see this more and more in today’s church as well. We are caught up in distraction; yet the biggest distraction is our lack of spiritual vision and imaginations. The extent of our vision is the boundary of our blessings. In this teaching, I hope we can bring light to the simplicity of God’s Word as we share some important points in this teaching; concentrating on the excerpts of Paul’s teaching on the armour of God, who he wrote to; and why he chose to express the explanation of the Word in this manner..
The Armour of God:
It is important that we understand why the Lord uses the comparisons of soldiers, amour, and swords to describe what He has given us and how He wants us to use it. Also, it is important that we don’t start developing the wrong image about this, because mankind got the tendency to boast in themselves instead of giving honor unto the Lord. It is God Who gives us the ability; and the Spirit of God Who trains us in the way we should go and the way we should do things. When we adhere to spiritual instructions and also follow spiritual principles, it will profit us in living a peaceful life filled with joy and love. Most churches don’t teach it in this manner, especially when it comes to the armour of God and the weapons of warfare. In general, the church has developed this misconception of spiritual things; training up aggressive Christians instead of passionate and loving believers.
The Word is Spirit (John 6:63); and the Spirit being the Word is unseen. Also expressingly compared to as the sword of the Spirit and ultimately the tongue – which release words. James expresses the power of the tongue as fire – which either destroys or purify. In the days of old, the black smith used fire to make swords and armour; continuously placing the metal in fire until red hot, hammering it level and then dipping it in water. He knew when the process of purification is completed, for when he dips it in water, the hot metal sound a singing noise. Not only did this process show the purification grade of the metal, but also the strength thereof.
The Bible also records in 1Corinthians3:13; that our works will be tested by fire. Bad works will be destroyed by this fire; and good works will remain. In the same manner, our words come back unto us; and it will either cause destruction in our own lives, or blessings. As we are made in God’s image and likeness (Gen.1:26), so to does our words return unto us and produce what it speaks of (Is.55:11).
Paul said the Word is Sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb.4:12); speaking about the Word of God – and how powerful the Word can be to those who uses it right. We can mould our lives according to God’s Word to have what the Word speaks of – isn’t that glorious…
Again Paul uses the comparison of the Armour of God with that of ancient Roman soldiers armour, in expressing the sustainable power of the abilities God had given us; as the book of Ephessian was written to people under the Roman rule in those days, therefore they would had understanding of what Paul was relating to them. However, in our lives today we must relate this to our lives.
Looking at Eph.6:13-17; we see the detailed description of the armour of God:
The Word ArmOur is made up of two english words; Arm (which is also used as armed) & Our, we have to claim the armour of God, make it ours as God had freely given it to us.
The Helmet of Salvation
Protecting the head (which houses the brain and understanding), also protecting the ears. What we allow in our thoughts and what we allow ourselves to hear will eventually well up and come out of our mouth. The wrong information can be easily processed and give birth to wrong ideas being expressed.
Shield of Faith
‘Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession…’ (1Tim.6:12). The Word says; ‘having done all to withstand (resist) in the evil day. Take note, the shield isn’t a weapon, but with it you shield and withstand fiery darts. James also says in his book, in chapter 4 verse 7: ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’
The Roman shield being bigger than other shields; it covers the whole body; and has rounded sides which wraps around the soldiers body, shielding against fiery arrows. In those days, the tip of spears was set alight and fired at approaching enemies. In most cases, these arrows would either go through the shields, or burn holes; but the Roman soldier shield was designed with a dens layer, that quenched these fiery arrows. Our faith should be dense that any fiery dart may be extinguished.
Feet Shod in Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
This is the readiness to take the Gospel to the world and preach salvation which brings peace. This is the call to every Christian to evangelize their sphere of contacts, as instructed by Jesus in Matt.28:19-20; Mark 16:16-18; and Acts.1:8.
Loins Girt of Truth
Holding up and together most of the armour; but also gears extra tools. The truth of God’s Word and moreso the knowledge we obtain through studying the Word hold us up and together (Josh.1:8).
Breastplate of Righteousness
Protecting the heart. The heart hear is the spiritual mind of man; it should be guarded at all times through seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt.6:33).
Sword of the Spirit
This is the Word of God. The only defensive weapon in the Roman soldier’s armour. The Word of God comes from the mouth of God to men, released by God’s tongue. Like we saw with James’ writing; our tongues can destroy or build, give live or take it. We also see in Joshua 1:8 that the Lord instructs us not to let the Word depart from our mouths – meaning that we should always have the Word of God ready in our mouths. Then Isaiah reveals another remarkable revelation in chapter 54 and verse 17; saying: ‘No weapon form against us shall prosper; and every tongue raised against us we shall condemn.’ Take not that God will deal with the weapons formed against us, but we have a responsibility to deal with the words spoken against us. This however goes beyond human words – it also speaks about what comes out of our own mouths and also what evil spirits minister to us – we are to condemn those wrong words.
Let us also look at what isn’t protected by the armour:
Arms and hands – these were used to hold fast the sword and the shield. We can learn from this. In scripture, the hands is also used as an extension of the Spirit to heal (Mark.16:18). The arms extend the hands; therefore we are to reach out to people so the Spirit of God has free will to work through us.
Back – for we are to always set our gaze on Jesus in front of us. Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding (Prov.3-5-6).
Upper legs – these can’t be constricted; as it gives strength to the torso or bosom and lower legs. We see that the feet are to be prepared to take the Gospel around the world. This isn’t always an easy task; therefore the legs must remain free and strong. We are strengthened through worshiping the Lord; which are accomplished by placing your knees on the ground in prayer of adoration and worship – your needs which are positioned between your feet being prepared in the Gospel and your upper legs which gives strengthen both to the lower legs (mobility to go and preach) and the bosom (the most inner parts of man -or- the real you / spirit man).
Face – needs a clear vision, for the extent of your vision is the boundary of your blessings. Setting a clear gaze on the Lord and having a mouth ready to shout and proclaim the Name of Jesus is important in not only working out our own salvation, but also bringing other unto salvation, with the eyes we can observe the Word, and with the mouth we make confession thereof.
In living the life more than a conqueror (Rom.8:37), we must understand that back in the days that Paul ministered to the Ephessian church, he used what their intellect could perceive. In the later portions of Paul’s teachings, we noticed that he has molded a new mindset in the new creation; a mindset which lives and functions beyond the battle field. Our words carry power; and due to the insufficiency of our human language, it is important to function from a spiritual standpoint, whereby the words we speak in the spirit would influence our physical vocabulary, causing our imagination and minds to function at extraordinary levels at a higher realm in this life.
When we understand that our sufficiency does not come from ourselves, but from God, then we will agree that the use of our language, imaginations, and intellect is not enough to live a successful Christian life – neither an overcoming life, nor a life more than a conqueror. We need the influence of the Word of God; adopting the Word as our language as the Father had adopted us as His children.
Faith comes by hearing; and hearing the Word of God (Rom.10:17). Like Paul had related the Roman soldier’s armour, faith is our shield, and the Word of God (Sword) our defender – for words are life and death. We must have faith in the things of God in order to speak the Word – and the Word of God is life. What you have today, whatever you experiencing today is a direct result of what came out of your mouth yesterday, last week, last month, and even last year. Yes, your words spoken in the pass was seeds that grow into trees; and every tree has the potential to become a forest. What you sow into your life through the words you speak will produce fruit; but not all fruit is good fruit and even weed are generated through seed. Therefore, learn to propagate the Word of God in your daily life; through that, you would be dressing yourself in the full armour of God, standing strong in the evil day (Eph.6:13 ); causing you to function at the higher realm, living beyond the battlefield; casting out infirmary – enjoying the blessings God had bestowed long ago upon you (Eph.1:3).
by Evg./Pst. Rudi Ferreira
2016 – The Year of Unstoppable Spreading
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